Shipment estimates for the iPhone have been lowered by Bank of America Merill Lynch on fears that there will be delays occasioned by technological issues. According to the Wall Street firm, iPhone shipments for this year will be 11 million less than what had been earlier expected.
“Our conversations with the Supply Chain suggest that the iPhone 8 will ship 3-4 weeks delayed given technological issues which Apple and its suppliers are working through,” wrote Stefano Pascale and Wamsi Mohan, analysts at Bank of America Merill Lynch.
Some of the problems cited in the Bank of America Merill Lynch report include issues with the 3-D and fingerprint sensors. Though Apple has not indicated when the upcoming iPhone will be launched, September is typically when it is released.
In the September quarter, the analysts at Bank of America Merill Lynch expected iPhone shipments to fall by 11 million while in the December quarter they will fall by 6 million. For the full year, expectations are that the total iPhone shipments will be 208.1 million. According to the analysts this may hurt the stock of Apple.
The Bank of America Merill Lynch analysts are not the only ones who have expressed fears that the iPhone 8 may face delays. Other Wall Street firms which have expressed the same sentiments include Drexel Hamilton, KGI Securities, Cowen and RBC Capital Markets.
Panic over delays
The report by Bank of America Merill Lynch comes after an article in Fast Company revealed that panic had gripped the Apple team working on the iPhone since there were still some technological issues which had remained unresolved. This was mainly on software and it was leading to speculation that if the issues were not resolved fast, the upcoming iPhone could be launched with some of the major features disabled. Later on when the issue has been resolved the features could be enabled through an update.
This would not be the first time that Apple would be doing so. In the case of the iPhone 7 Plus, for instance, Apple already had chips and sensors for Portrait Mode on the device but activation of the feature only happened after the software had been perfected.
With the upcoming iPhone which may be named iPhone X, iPhone Pro or iPhone 8 one of the features that is proving problematic is wireless charging. Apple is employing a charging standard known as Qi and chipmaker Broadcom is providing the charging components.